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Solo Trips Surge 300% in Just One Year.Solo travelling is no longer a niche sector; it’s growing fast. According to Global Rescue’s survey of the world’s most experienced travellers, the percentage of solo travellers has more than tripled in the past 12 months. In the spring of 2023, only nine per cent of women and 12% of men planned solo trips. A year later, those percentages skyrocketed to 37% for men and 32% for women.

A driving force fueling the independent travel trend may be an after-effect of the pandemic’s enforced isolation, which encouraged people with a YOLO (You Only Live Once) or FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) attitude, rendering them more confident than ever about spending time in solitude. [SOURCE: The Week]

Another factor behind the increase in solo travel is that people are taking time to recharge. [SOURCE: Skyscanner]

A third influence on the rise in independent travel is the individual’s desire to travel, overriding the need to go with a travel partner. Many travellers don’t want to waste time, especially after the pandemic ends. If no one wants to travel with them, they are going alone. Travelers aren’t delaying while their travel partners dither, they’re just going. [SOURCE: Forbes]

A 56-year-old world traveller, Dinette Wells, admitted she started travelling solo after a friend suddenly bailed on their Austria skiing vacation. “I had gotten my first passport and already invested the money. So, I went alone, and I’m so glad I did. I learned early it’s not worth it to give up on these amazing travel experiences just because you think you need someone to go with you.”

Solo Travel Demographics

Solo travel is fueled by young adults, with more than 40% of independent U.S. travellers aged 18-to-34 years old. [SOURCE: Allianz]

But younger travelers are not the only ones embarking on solo travel. Older adults do not hesitate to travel alone.

A recent survey by the travel organization Road Scholar, a leader in educational travel for older adults, reported that up to 30% of their 100,000 travellers each year choose solo trips, and many were 65 and older.

Divorcees are contributing to the solo travel trend, too. One survey revealed that 78% of divorced adults ranked as the highest demographic ready for a solo vacation. [SOURCE: Skyscanner]

And it’s not only single people who travel solo. Some independent travellers are happily married yet choose to travel alone. The Road Scholar survey revealed that 60% of solo travellers were married but travelling without their spouses. Why? Four out of 10 respondents said their spouse wasn’t interested in travelling, while a nearly equal percentage said they had different travel interests than their spouse.

Solo Travel Risks?

“Any type of travel can be risky. But, if you do your research, follow customs, and take the proper travel safety measures, you can bring down the risk level,” said Amanda Burrill, a former Navy lieutenant turned global adventurer, travel writer and food connoisseur.

Researching the destination before travel is one of the first things any traveller should do to assess the level of safety and familiarize themselves with customs and traditions. That can include any number of resources, from simple Internet searches and travel blog reading to consulting a travel risk management services company. It’s also a good idea to tap into other travellers who have recently been to the destinations you’re considering.

“Every traveler should practice their situational awareness skills by getting familiar with their surroundings, establishing a baseline of activity for your area, paying attention to people’s attire, body language and behavior and more,” said Harding Bush, a former Navy SEAL and associate director of security operations at Global Rescue.

Burrill also suggests enlisting a travel agent or meeting with a group of other solo travellers during part of your trip. “That can remove some of the first-timer anxiety because you’re not alone.”

YOLO Triggers Solo Travel

Call it YOLO travel or FOMO travel, the idea of seizing the moment and exploring new places without waiting for companions aligns with an increase in solo travel experiences, often spontaneous, adventurous trips. Spawned by the pandemic and the stay-at-home, work-from-home arrangements contributed to a surge in solo travel. With people feeling more comfortable travelling alone, seeking personal space, and avoiding crowded places, solo travel has become a popular choice for many.




Written by: Dan Richards



Dan Richards is the CEO of The Global Rescue Companies, the world’s leading medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services provider, and a U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board member at the U.S. Department of Commerce.